Solid Toys for the Boys

As some may know we have experimented quite a bit with Lucene indexes on Solid State Drives and we’ve had very good experiences with it. Seeing huge performance gains. Since we are also routinely running big applications and other heavy duty tasks on our desktop machines our dear Toke had the idea that we should all have SSDs in our desktops. After a good deal of shopping about he settled on the Kingston v 40GB drive as research revealed that this exact model had the good Intel metal inside (this is fx. not the case for the 64GB model).

Yesterday we got the delivery and immediately start unpacking and upgrading our machines. And boy where these babies worth every penny! 🙂

(sorry for the ugly scaling of the following images – WordPress is killing me)

Toke was the Super delivery boy

Quick - get them before they are gone!

Yours truly is a Super happy camper

Super tag team getting their hands dirty

Firstly we did clean installations of Ubuntu. With a 10GB root partition and a ~26GB /home partition and ~4GB swap. Root and /home formatted with Ext4. All on the SSD. The time?

  • Installing Ubuntu Karmic 64 bit from USB stick: 4 minutes (with ~1 minute waiting for network on a slow repository)

The next thing was the boot… While we where rebooting from the install-session we talked about how fast the boot was going to be. But in the talking we almost didn’t react before the reboot was back up to the login screen. Wow. As we didn’t have a timer with sub-minute resolution at hand we can only give you subjective numbers. Among the spectators the opinions range from “negative time” to “5s” to “10s”. My personal estimates are:

  • Boot from GRUB to GDM login screen: 5s
  • From login screen to working GNOME desktop: 4s

This is pretty darn fast I tell you 🙂

In general application launching is also noticably faster. Especially so for applications with lots of IO, likethe  Evolution mail reader or our development environment IntelliJ Idea. Compiling the Summa project is also a heavily IO bound process. The result:

  • Compiling Summa from scratch with cold disk caches: With conventioanl drives ~6 minutes. With our new SSDs 2.5 minutes. That’s a speedup of a factor ~2.5.

As you might have guessed by now – we like SSDs – a lot!

This entry was posted in Hacking, kamstrup, Summa and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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